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Published on Aug 3, 2010
Orien MacDonald, a.k.a. Old School Tools, grew up in Alaska and Southern New Mexico, where his parents were part of the Back-to-the-Land movement. His dad taught workshops in building handmade houses out of adobe clay and had a vast woodshop where Orien whittled his first woodworking project at the age of five. It didn't take Orien long to recognize his passion for handicrafts. Never interested in formal schooling, Orien took it upon himself to learn everything he could about woodworking, luthiery, blacksmithing and leather crafting. It took him ten years to hone his craft, but he persisted in raising the level of workmanship with each new challenge. Of special interest to Orien are tools and techniques from the 19th century. After years of building guitars and lutes, then moving on to hunting bows and arrows, Orien's latest fascination is blacksmithing with a forge from the 1800s. He uses a minimal amount of power tools and prides himself on using recycled and reclaimed materials.